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[ISN] Risk professionals in high demand in UAE banks

From: InfoSec News <alerts_at_nospam>
Date: Mon Jan 02 2012 - 06:49:32 GMT

By Shuchita Kapur
December 31, 2011

Demand for risk professionals in UAE banks has gone up by double-digits
this year, according to experts in the recruitment industry.

"There has been a 28-per cent increase in risk vacancies registered by
Huxley Associates in 2011 compared with 2010,” Keon Jamshidi, Huxley
Associate's in-house risk expert told 'Emirates24|7'.

According to Barclay Simpson, a recruiter of risk professionals, risk
management maintains high profile and the demand for risk professionals
had gone down during the crisis of 2009 but is up again.

“Risk management recruitment was not immune from the effects of the
global economic downturn and during 2009 there was a significant decline
in the demand for risk managers across the financial services sector.
During 2010, however, confidence has been returning across the sector as
financial constraints have been alleviated. Once again risk management
is raising its profile,” reads the website of Barclay Simpson.

Fearing bad debt, banks in the region are gearing up to minimise the

“Many banks have moved to strengthen their counterparty credit risk
frameworks to mitigate the increasing threat of provisions for bad debt.
Many hires have therefore been made in this area during 2011 by regional
banks. Liquidity risk has been another growth area for regional banks in
2011 while the upward trend in recent years for market risk
professionals in the region has slowed somewhat, not surprising given
that many banks are reducing their treasury exposure to global markets.
Candidates proficient in Basel II pillar two continue to be in high
demand,” explained Jamshidi.

As per Barclay Simpson, “risk is now high on the corporate agenda as
many financial services institutions are looking to develop their risk
management capability, not only to better protect themselves but also to
maximise profitability. Risk recruitment activity is gathering pace,
particularly at leadership level, where commercially

minded chief risk officers and heads of risk, with the ability to
integrate risk into the business and genuinely add value, are sought
after. The traditional areas of credit, market and operational risk have
had a rise in fortunes across all areas of financial services and we
would expect this to continue for the foreseeable future.”

Going into the New Year, the demand for such professionals is expected
to rise. “In 2012 we expect risk vacancies to grow even further in the
areas mentioned above alongside increased recruitment in niche areas
such as business continuity planning and disaster recovery,” said the
Huxley expert.

Shane Phillips, MENA Regional Practice Leader, Financial and
Professional Services at Stanton Chase is upbeat about the growth of
risk professionals in the region and world over.

“[Globally] we are seeing a 400 per cent increase in demand for risk
professionals. I find it interesting that the first CRO was only hired
in 1993 by GE Capital and his name is James Lam. Today 80 per cent of
financial services companies have a CRO,” he said.

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